iPad In Between: Not Smartphone or Notebook

Introduction: Is The iPad Really A "Third Device?"

When Steve Jobs introduced the iPad at a frenzied event in California this past January, he said something interesting. It was a statement that got many in the tech industry thinking.  Now that we have played with the company's first tablet for a couple of weeks, we think it's time to really take a look at how reasonable Jobs' statement was.

If you missed it, Jobs stated that he saw the
Apple iPad as a third category of device; something that could fit in between your phone (the iPhone, of course) and your full-sized notebook (your MacBook Pro, of course, at least in Apple's opinion...).

Jobs makes his case around the 6:30 mark but does it hold water?

Many people saw the iPad as simply an enlarged iPod touch when it was introduced.  Even though iPhone OS 4.0 promises to bring multi-tasking, the iPod touch and iPhone will be getting the same upgrade, so in a way, those judgments are mostly on target. But what did Jobs see in the iPad that he doesn't see in the iPod Touch?  And how honest of an assumption is it that the iPad really can fill a void that many have not even realized needed filling?

On the pages ahead, we'll explore that question and ways in which the iPad or perhaps even other slate devices, might succeed (or not) with respect to that claim and the newly invigorated, perceived tablet need in the market.

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